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BWW Review: THE FIVE MOONS OF LORCA at Home Computer Screens

The Life and Death of the Poet Garcia Lorca

BWW Review: THE FIVE MOONS OF LORCA at Home Computer Screens

BWW Review: THE FIVE MOONS OF LORCA at Home Computer Screens

The Five Moons of Lorca is a combination ballet and choral work that tells of the life and death of early twentieth century Spanish poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca. He called for a return to the origins of European Theatre and he questioned the social mores of contemporary theatrical practice with regard to homosexuality and the role of women in society in Franco's Spain.

During the last year of his life, 1936, Lorca opined, "Theatre is poetry that rises from the book and becomes human enough to talk and shout, weep and despair." On August 18, 1936, the day his brother was shot, Lorca was arrested. Police reports conclude that Lorca was executed by fascist forces shortly thereafter. Various agencies have searched for his body but it has never been found.

With a text by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz, Gabriela Lena Frank's 15-minute folksong-imbued piece utilizes a text by Nilo Cruz to describe the death by gunshot of the dramatist at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Composer Frank describes the work elegantly, "The music gives equal importance to the piano and the voices, lending the feeling of a mini-opera. It is regal and proud, quintessentially Spanish in that way, before bursting into its full strength and power in the fiery middle, and then lyrically poignant in the dying moments of the finale."

The Five Moons of Lorca opens showing the audience some of the beauty of García Lorca's life with lyrical song. Golden-voiced countertenor Jacob Ingbar joins members of the LA Opera Chorus and pianist Nicholas Roehler in performing melodic music to accompany flamenco dancer Irene Rodríguez as she dances her own exquisite choreography. Known for her contemporary flamenco artistry, Rodríguez uses foot beats to describe the killers' approach and the inevitable machine gun shots.

Los Angeles Opera has commissioned ten short works for its website to date. The first to be published, The Five Moons of Lorca can be seen there for free through Christmas Day.

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From This Author Maria Nockin